Today I Love Chicago the Way I Love New York

I’d pay good money to be in Chicago today.

When do you ever hear a New Yorker saying that? lol

Union Park, to be exact.

Do you know the Immigrant Youth Justice League?

Here’s what they say about themselves:

The Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL) is a Chicago-based network  that represents undocumented youth and allies in the demand for immigrant rights through education, resource-gathering, and youth mobilization.

And today, some of those undocumented youth are speaking out. The DREAMers, the students who’d benefit from the passing of the DREAM Act.

Some of them are identifying themselves. Read about it here. They’re kicking off a national “coming out of the shadows” campaign.

Now, not every DREAMer is coming out of the shadows. I completely respect their reasons why.

Right now, I’m thinking about when my husband Picasso and I were living in the States.

And what it would look like if Picasso came out publicly about his undocumented status.

Jesus.

Picasso and I walked into what was then the Chicago INS on April 26, 2001. Half an hour after sitting down with a deportation officer, Picasso was in a prison uniform, handcuffed, in a jail in the basement of the Chicago INS.

I walked out of the Chicago INS building that day. R did not.

I stumbled out onto West Jackson Boulevard. The sun was disgustingly inviting. It was a rare Chicago spring day.

What if there was a “coming out of the shadows” rally going on at Union Park on April 26, 2001?

What if I walked to the park, and heard those brave students speak?

What if I marched over with them to the Federal Plaza at 3pm, as they plan to do?

Illinois DREAMers, I hold you in my heart.

Know that as I sit here in Mexico, I stand in Union Park with you.

Believe it when I say that as I move through my day in these streets, I also march with you through the streets of Chicago.

I’ll keep holding you in my heart. I’ll pray for you between breaths.

That’s the best that I can do today.

All you DREAMers, I love you. I truly do.

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6 thoughts on “Today I Love Chicago the Way I Love New York

  1. Although you were not with us, we appreciate your persistence in fighting the system that brings us pain. We will use your story to keep fighting b/c for us it is not too late. When we are feeling beat, this is will inspire us to persevere and fight forth. I hope you are living a much better life in Mexico and remember that we will continue fighting here.

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